2020 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
Title 40 - Public Health and Safety
§1798. Firearms; disposal by law enforcement agencies

Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 40:1798 (2020)

RS 1798 - Firearms; disposal by law enforcement agencies

A. Notwithstanding any provision of the law to the contrary, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of the state police, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and each law enforcement agency of a political subdivision of the state shall dispose of firearms which are lawfully seized by and forfeited to those agencies in the manner provided for in this Section.

B. For the purpose of this Section, the following words shall have the following meanings:

(1) "Contraband" means any firearm which cannot be lawfully owned or possessed by any state or local law enforcement agency or by any private citizen.

(2) "Firearm" means any pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, submachine gun, or assault rifle, which is designed to fire or is capable of firing fixed cartridge ammunition or from which a shot or projectile is discharged by an explosive.

(3) "Forfeited" means that the ownership of the firearm has been transferred to a law enforcement agency by a court order and that the firearm is not being held as evidence or for any other purpose related to an investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.

(4) "Law enforcement agency" means the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of state police, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the sheriff of any parish, or the police department of any municipality.

(5) "Seized" means lawfully taken and held by a law enforcement agency in connection with an investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.

C. If the seized or forfeited firearm is contraband, the law enforcement agency shall destroy the seized or forfeited firearm.

D. If the seized or forfeited firearm is not contraband, and if the law enforcement agency knows the owner of the seized or forfeited firearm, and if the owner did not commit any violation of any federal or state law or local ordinance in which the seized or forfeited firearm was involved, and if the owner may lawfully possess the seized or forfeited firearm, the law enforcement agency shall return the seized or forfeited firearm to the owner.

E. If the provisions of Subsections C and D do not apply, the law enforcement agency shall dispose of the seized or forfeited firearm in accordance with the following provisions:

(1) If the firearm is of a type which can lawfully be possessed and used by a law enforcement agency, the law enforcement agency may dispose of the firearm in one of the following ways:

(a) The law enforcement agency may retain and use the firearm.

(b) The law enforcement agency may sell or donate the firearm to another law enforcement agency or may use the firearm as consideration or partial consideration in an exchange with another law enforcement agency.

(c) The law enforcement agency may sell the firearm to a firearms dealer or a firearms manufacturer, or may use the firearm as consideration or partial consideration in an exchange with a firearms dealer or a firearms manufacturer, provided the firearms dealer or the firearms manufacturer is licensed to buy, sell, or trade that type of firearm.

(d) The law enforcement agency may destroy the firearm.

(2) If the firearm is of a type which can lawfully be possessed and used by a private citizen, the law enforcement agency may dispose of the firearm in one of the following ways:

(a) The law enforcement agency may retain and use the firearm.

(b) The law enforcement agency may sell or donate the firearm to another law enforcement agency or may use the firearm as consideration or partial consideration in an exchange with another law enforcement agency.

(c) The law enforcement agency may sell the firearm to a firearms dealer or a firearms manufacturer, or may use the firearm as consideration or partial consideration in an exchange with a firearms dealer or a firearms manufacturer, provided the firearms dealer or the firearms manufacturer is licensed to buy, sell, or trade that type of firearm.

(d) The law enforcement agency may sell the firearm to a private citizen. A sale of a firearm to a private citizen shall be at a public auction in the same manner as a sale of surplus property. A sale of a firearm to a private citizen shall comply with all federal laws, state laws, and local ordinances which apply to that sale, and the law enforcement agency shall perform the background checks on the purchaser which are required by state and federal laws for sales of firearms by licensed firearms dealers.

(e) The law enforcement agency may destroy the firearm.

F. Before a law enforcement agency destroys a seized or forfeited firearm under the provisions of Subsections D and E , the law enforcement agency shall ensure that any security interest attached to the firearm to be destroyed is satisfied in favor of the party holding the security interest in the firearm.

G. A law enforcement agency may dispose of its own surplus firearms in accordance with the applicable provisions of this Section.

Acts 1999, No. 806, §1; Acts 2001, No. 236, §1.

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